Mrs. Malone is at home when the police bring her son Trace in for stealing a neighbor's car. Trace has a record of truancy and fighting at school. Trace blames it on his father Rob, a Delta Force officer who is always out on assignment. The doorbell rings and a military officer informs Mrs. Malone that her father is MIA in Iran.
Later, Trace is complaining that nothing's changed: his father is still gone the same as always. He goes out to the kitchen only to find Rob waiting for him. Rob apologizes and explains that the military made a mistake and that he's there for his family. Trace boasts about stealing a car and goes to his room. He calls his friend Lance and they discuss the burglary they have planned. Mrs. Malone comes in and tries to convince him to get along with his father. Trace thinks something is wrong with Rob's story. They hear Rob working on a car in the garage. Trace goes out to talk to him and Rob asks him to help. Trace says that Rob bought the car two years ago and promised they'd fix it together. Rob apologizes and says that now it's one of the things he failed to do that they can finish while he's there. Trace is still suspicious but agrees to help his father.
Some time later, Rob and his wife are going through old photos and she comments that he used to hate that. Rob explains that he's eager to see everything missed while he was gone. They put on some music and start to dance, much to Trace's surprise. He starts to warm toward his father and leaves them to celebrate their anniversary together. However, later Trace is in his bedroom when he sees Rob outside talking to three soldiers. Rob tells them that he needs more time but they say that none of them are supposed to be there and he isn't in command any more. Trace comes out to confront his father and realizes the truth: Rob is dead. Rob explains that he died on a mission along with the rest of his platoon. Trace, angry and confused, wonders if his mother knows and if Rob is there for forgiveness. Rob says that he hasn't told her and Trace accuses him of being a coward for not telling her. Trace goes to his mother, who already has an idea of Rob's true nature, says that she doesn't need to forgive Rob for anything because he never hurt her.
Rob calls his friend Lance and tells him that he's in for the burglary. However, as he finishes the call, he sees Rob outside with his platoon members. Rob goes to the garage and Trace confronts him. He tells his father that he's going out and Rob offers him a ride in the newly restored car. Trace says he's going with a friend but as he goes, he sees Rob go to meet his fellow soldiers. He tells Lance that he can't go and walks over to his father and tells him that he's ready to take a ride with him. Rob gives his wife one last kiss.
Rob and Trace go to the baseball diamond where Trace played little league. Trace admits that he got drunk in the dugout a few months ago. Rob admits that he liked to watch Trace play, and while he was in the field he didn't have to try and finds the words to say how much he loved his son. He tells Trace not to use him as an excuse for screwing up his life. The members of the platoon appear on the field and Rob says it's time for him to go: the platoon's oath is to leave no man behind. Rob tells Trace to kiss his mother for him and joins his men. At home, Trace returns to pass on his father's kiss to his mother.